DI Graduate Track Program Information

The Master of Professional Practice in Dietetics (MPP) offers a pathway for graduates of the Iowa State University Dietetic Internship (DI) to earn a master’s degree. The MPP is a distance, non-thesis graduate degree program for Iowa State University DI graduates that allows you to roll over all the graduate credits earned within seven years and up to six credits that were taken between eight and ten years ago during your DI.

The mission of the MPP (DI graduate track) is to advance the practice of dietetic professionals for leadership roles in diverse settings, to promote human health and well-being, and improve quality of life.

Our online format allows you to take classes online at your convenience and at a pace that works with your busy schedule.

Since all coursework is completed online, it is our expectation that all students will be able to perform every task on this pre-program technology needs assessment checklist (PDF). In addition, you will need to have access to a computer, scanner, printer, and the internet throughout the program.

Applicants are assessed for their ability to be successful in this distance, graduate program and in the dietetics profession. To evaluate your level of readiness for an online program, please check out the following resources.

  1. What makes a successful online student?
  2. Are you ready to be an online learner?
    a. Online learning readiness rubric
    b. Online Learning Readiness Survey
  3. Try out the online learning orientation tool.


You need to complete a minimum of 30 credits in order to earn a master’s degree at Iowa State University. DI interns who graduated in the past six years will be able to transfer all of your DI graduate credits (14-15 credits). Thus, to earn your MPP degree you will need to complete a minimum of 15-16 credits. See below for a listing of courses and semesters in which they are offered. A description of the courses can be found here

DI courses (Transfer credits)

  • FSHN 554,  Dietetic Internship I, 5 credits
  • FSHN 555, Dietetic Internship II, 5 credits
  • FSHN 556 Dietetic Internship III 4 or 5 credits (DI interns graduating before June 2018 completed 14 total credits and those graduating after June 2018 completed 15 total credits)

Spring semester courses

  • FSHN 518, Advanced Nutrition II, 3 credits
  • FSHN 538, Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy, 3 credits

Summer semester courses

  • FSHN 537, Leadership and Management in Dietetics, 3 credits
  • FSHN 508, Consumer Perceptions and Nutrition Communication, 2 credits
  • FSHN 590A, Special Topics, (only required for graduates of the DI before June 2018) 1 credit

Fall semester courses

  • FSHN 516, Advanced Nutrition I, 2 credits
  • FSHN 533, Diet and Integrative Therapies for Prevention and Treatment of Disease, 2 credits

Total Credits: 30
All courses are required and must be taken in the semester listed.

Admission requirements

  • Completion of the Iowa State University Dietetic Internship
  • GRE not required
  • Two letters of Recommendation (from current or former work supervisors or those who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in an online program. DO NOT solicit letter of recommendation from friends or family members.
    • Note: your recommenders will be sent an email with a link to their form to provide their letter of recommendation for you, only after you have completed and submitted your application.
  • Letter of support from employer if one of the letters of recommendation is not from the employer.
  • A personal statement in Microsoft Word (750 words or less) is also required and must include the following:
    • Your reasons for applying to the MPP
    • What skills you want to develop in this graduate program
    • What personal qualities will allow you to be successful in this online program?
    • Your long and short-term goals
    • Your strengths and weakness
    • Please include any additional information that would help us evaluate your professional and leadership potential, or any extenuating circumstances of which the committee should be aware

International students

International students who will require an I-20 for F-1 status are not eligible to apply to the MPP. International applicants residing in the US in other statuses (such as J-2, H-1B, H-4 or green card holders) that allow them to pursue higher education, are eligible to apply. For additional information, please contact the International Students and Scholars office.

TOEFL/IELTS: All “non-native English speakers” who do not have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally-accredited college or university are required to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score. The ISU Graduate Admissions Office determines if a TOEFL/IELTS score is required.

Application review process

All qualified, complete applications will be reviewed by members of the ISU Dietetics Committee.


No in-person or phone interviews are conducted.

What we look for in an applicant

We look at positive references, representation of personal qualities and skills in a personal letter, well-rounded individual, work, and volunteer experience but not limited to:

  • Excellent communication skills with a variety of audiences and formats (instructors, preceptors, peers, clients)
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to perform self-assessment and apply constructive feedback
  • Self-motivation and follow-through
  • Flexibility and adaptable to changing circumstances
  • Ability to manage stress effectively
  • Positive attitude and interpersonal skills
  • Computer literacy in online coursework, document sharing, Microsoft Office, and email
  • Ability to work independently

Program costs

All students pay in-state resident tuition.

                           Full-Time Application Costs




Application fee

ISU-MPP application fee


                             Program Costs

ISU Graduate Tuition and Fees

$ 11054-11770


Spring Semester Tuition ($716/credit)


Tuition for 6 credits*: $4296

#Technology fees: $117.75


Summer Semester Tuition ($716/credit)


Tuition for 5-6 credits*: $3580-$4296

#Technology fees: $117.75


Fall Semester Tuition ($716/credit)


Tuition for 4 credits*: $2864

#Technology fees: $78.50


Supportive material

Computer (you are NOT required to purchase a new computer for the program; cost estimate provided in case you need to upgrade your technology)


Thinkspace subscription (FSHN 538)




*Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. 

**During summer, six and a half credits are considered a full-time graduate load.

#Technology fee is charged to all Iowa State students regardless of on- or off-campus designation. This fee is used to support the computer infrastructure within the university. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application Related

What are the eligibility requirements for your program?
You are eligible to apply to the MPP if you are a graduate of the Iowa State. Dietetic Internship. GRE is not required for admission into the MPP.

Do I need to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to apply to the MPP?
You can apply to the MPP even if you have not passed your RD exam yet. 

Is an interview required as part of the application process?
Interviews are not required as part of the MPP application process.

Can I work while attending the distance program?

Yes, you can work while taking classes to complete the program.

I graduated from the DI program some time ago. Do I need to retake any courses, before applying to the MPP?

You do not need to retake courses to apply to the MPP. However keep in mind if you graduated more than seven years ago, you can only transfer six DI credits to count towards your MPP degree.

What do you look for in an applicant?

Applicants are assessed for their ability to be successful in this distance, graduate program. In addition, work and volunteer experiences, leadership qualities, and representation of personal qualities and skills and letters of recommendation are also taken into consideration. A rubric is utilized to rank the applicants in order of preferred skills and attributes for success in a graduate distance program.

Who should write a letter of recommendation for me?
You should request letters of recommendation from people who can attest to your ability to succeed in the MPP. You may want to consider requesting letters of recommendation from your past or current work supervisor or colleague. You should not request or submit letters of recommendation from friends or family members.

How many letters of recommendation do I need for applying to the MPP?

You will need to provide names and contact information of at least two people who are willing to provide a letter of recommendation for you. You may want to consider requesting letters of recommendation from your past or current work supervisor or colleague. You should not request or submit letters of recommendation from friends or family members.

What should be included in the letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation asks for an assessment of the applicants professional attributes (such as communication skills, time management skills, analytical/problem solving, ability to work independently, etc.), and strengths and areas of improvement.

How will people writing letters of recommendation be notified? Do I need to contact them and provide them a link to complete the recommendation?

Once you submit your application, an email is automatically sent to you with a link to the letter of recommendation. Please forward that link to your supervisor/employer and another professional reference and ask them to directly submit the letter of recommendation to us within two weeks.

Program Related

What degree would I earn once I graduate from your program?

You will earn the Master of Professional Practice in Dietetics or MPPD degree and your major will be Professional Practice in Dietetics.

What is your program concentration?

The MPP does not offer a concentration area.

Which semester do classes start?

You can start the program in the Spring, Summer or Fall. You will need to let us know of your intended start date.

Are all the courses in the MPP mandatory?

Yes, all courses in the MPP are mandatory and required to be taken in the specified semester, since they are only offered once a year. A list and description of the courses offered in the MPP can be found here.

What about electives? How many electives do I have to take?

There are no elective courses offered or required in the MPP.

What if I want to take extra electives?

Students are welcome to take elective courses, however, the elective courses may not replace any core MPP course.

How long will it take for me to complete the program?

If you enroll in all courses offered each semester, you can complete the program in 12-months (includes summer semester). However, if you want to only take one class a semester, you can complete the program in two years (includes summer semesters). 

Finance Related

Is your program eligible for financial aid?

Qualified students may apply for financial aid. Please contact the ISU Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss eligibility criteria and for other questions related to financial aid and loans.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

Financial aid eligibility is determined by the Iowa State University financial aid office. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans. For more information, see the ISU Office of Student Financial Aid website.

When is the FAFSA application due?
FASFA Application deadlines change based on aid type. Deadlines are as follows:

  • June 30th – Federal Aid Deadline
  • July 1st – State (Iowa) Aid Deadline
  • December 1st – ISU Priority Deadline

Other questions or need clarification?

Reach out to us at mppisu@iastate.edu


Next application cycle will open August 14, 2023